Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
65 GRESHAM STREET
LONDON
EC2V 7NQ
England

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 1

One of the leading PIL firms in the world‘, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s London practice consistently acts for sovereign governments, corporations, international organisations, NGOs and high-profile individuals. Recent work ranges from BIT claims, humanitarian law and international human rights law, to international environmental law, Law Of The Sea, state immunity, and acts of state doctrine. Former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith KC is global co-chair of the firm’s PIL group, his track record including appearing before several international courts and tribunals; Samantha Rowe focuses on PIL and international arbitration matters; and co-head of the firm’s Africa practice group, Patrick Taylor, advises on PIL issues, human rights and investment disputes. The second line of practitioners features experienced international counsels Aimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake, along with senior associate Merryl Lawry-White, who ‘has excellent knowledge and experience in PIL matters‘; and Monika Hlavkova, whose ‘preparation is impeccable‘.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith KC

Testimonials

‘Debevoise is one of the leading PIL firms in the world, and London is a key part of that status.’

‘The public international law work that Debevoise does is fantastic and it is head and shoulders above other firms.’

‘The team showed enthusiasm, high degrees of professionalism and competence; and the lawyers worked really well as a team, they were respectful to each other and us, and it all ran very smoothly.’

‘Lord Peter Goldsmith KC and international counsels Aimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake are all excellent. They understand what the client wants and are very much problem-solving oriented.’

‘Patrick Taylor is highly efficient and has a wealth of experience in international public law and in commercial arbitration; and Samantha Rowe is an excellent communicator with deep knowledge of international law.’

‘Patrick Taylor and Samantha Rowe impressed me with their knowledge of public international law and, in particular, investor-state disputes settlement.’

‘Senior associate Merryl Lawry-White is top rated in my view. She has excellent knowledge and experience in PIL matters, particularly International Court of Justice cases where she excels.’

‘Associate Monika Hlavkova pays incredible attention to detail, combined with a sound strategic sense; and her preparation is impeccable.’

Key clients

Republic of Azerbaijan

Shell Petroleum

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Qatar Airways

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company

The Russian Federation

Work highlights

  • Representing the Republic of Azerbaijan in a dispute with the Republic of Armenia before the International Court of Justice, arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • Defending the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia before the International Court of Justice, arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • Representing Shell against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in an ICSID case brought under the Netherlands-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty.

Investment fund formation and management > Fund finance Tier 1

Highly rated for its ‘unrivalled market knowledge and technical acumen’Debevoise & Plimpton LLPhas been at the forefront of a number of fund finance innovations, including ESG margin ratchets, hybrid facilities and NAV facilities’. Under the leadership of acquisition, asset and structured finance experts Alan Davies, Pierre Maugüé, and the 'oustanding' Thomas Smith, the group often acts for high-profile clients across all fund types, including private equity, infrastructure, real estate, healthcare-focused, secondaries and venture funds, on large and mid-cap deals.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Other key lawyers:

Almas Daud; Gregg Young

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled market knowledge and technical acumen.’

‘Thomas Smith is outstanding and probably the best fund finance lawyer in London.’

‘Very strong fund finance team, headed by Tom Smith who is supported by a very capable team of associates. Debevoise knows everything that is going on in the fund finance market, making it well placed to find solutions and achieve results.’

‘We have worked with Tom Smith for a number of years and he knows our business and key areas of concern very well, sees the big picture and focuses on ensuring we get the right commercial deal. Tom is able to convey detailed and technical advice in a clear and straight forward manner and has an in-depth knowledge of market trends and relevant precedents in the fund finance space. We consider Tom to be the leading borrower-side lawyer in the UK fund finance space.’

‘Debevoise is our go-to practice for high profile transactions that we have to close on time. Strong partner interaction and a supportive, goal-oriented culture are the key differentiating factors which always lead us back to Debevoise for big deals.’

‘Highly commercial and dynamic team who has been at the forefront of a number of fund finance innovations, including ESG margin ratchets, hybrid facilities and NAV facilities. The team has a deep bench of very talented associates who support Tom Smith and the broader partner group.’

‘Tom Smith, who leads Debevoise’s global fund finance practice, is the primary individual that I work with. He is extremely commercial, always balancing his knowledge and understanding of our risk appetite together with legal risks and market insights. He has spearheaded several fund finance innovations including ESG margin ratchets, hybrid facilities and NAV facilities. He also brings together experts and participants from across the industry through targeted informative events and is highly active at conferences. He is supported by a deep bench of stand-out associates such as Almas Daud and Gregg Young.’

Key clients

EQT Partners

EQT Exeter

Baring Private Equity Asia

Bridgepoint Credit

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Glendower Capital

Work highlights

  • Assisted EQT with a €260m subscription line facility with a syndicate of four banks, which included ESG mechanics.
  • Acted for Baring Private Equity Asia on its $1.4bn subscription line facility, which included ESG targets and the potential to increase to $3.15bn.
  • Advised Bridgepoint Credit on four subscription line facilities, with each facility being a syndicate of between two or three lenders and including ESG metrics.

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP remains a go-to firm for complex international regulatory investigations and corporate crime matters, with experience in attaining successful outcomes for a wide range of clients in highly regulated industries, including energy, minerals, defence, and financial services. The firm leverages its US and global footprint in cross-border proceedings, and has seen success in negotiating DPAs alongside securing acquittals for clients facing regulatory and criminal enforcement action by the likes of the SFO, FCA, and US DOJ, including ongoing work for key clients Rolls Royce and Royal Dutch Shell. The ‘pre-eminent‘ team is headed up by Peter Goldsmith KC, who remains active in international white collar proceedings and arbitrations, alongside Karolos Seeger, who continues to offer broad expertise across bribery, corruption, and AML proceedings on a global basis, regularly appearing successfully against enforcement bodies. Jane Shvets offers ‘outstanding, well rounded‘ advice to corporate clients on regulatory compliance audits and internal investigations, as well as regulatory actions, while Konstantin Bureiko is an international counsel with particular expertise in sanctions and international trade work. At associate level, ‘superstarThomas Jenkins advises clients on anti-corruption and fraud investigations, as well as on regulatory compliance, including compliance with DPAs, while Andrew Lee specialises in FCA proceedings, including litigation.

Practice head(s):

Peter Goldsmith KC; Karolos Seeger

Testimonials

‘Debevoise is not our primary sanctions firm, however, we regularly reach out to them in highly complex matters to give a second opinion. Their opinion is always very practical in every sense and they are especially thorough with their risk assessment. They have outstanding quality team members both in their US and UK/EU offices and their team work is very strong.’

‘Jane Shvets is an outstanding, well rounded compliance lawyer and team leader. Her advice is strategic and practical at the same time, her assessments in individual cases always feed into how the overall compliance program can be improved. She does not shy away to challenge the client to make the compliance program stronger.’

‘Debevoise has one of the City’s pre-eminent Investigations and Corporate Crime practices. Jane Shvets in particular has shown herself to be absolutely in control of the law and on top of the detail. She bring a calm demeanor to moments of stress and has a first rate analytical capability.’

‘Debevoise is certainly the law firm which has the deepest understanding of different jurisdictions. They are very committed .to the case and to the client.’

‘Karolos Seeger – genuinely international, multi-lingual, extremely clever and engaging – exceptional under pressure – very very good at managing complex matters Tom Jenkins – a super star senior associate, huge work ethic and delivers every time.’

‘Incredibly strong team that brings together expertise across multiple offices to provide a seamless and joined-up end client experience. The strength of the bench is deep and the team is super responsive.’

‘Jane Shvets is simply outstanding. Jane brings together exceptional technical expertise with commercial pragmatism and is very user friendly. It is always a pleasure working with Jane. – Konstantin Bureiko is a brilliant associate. On point and excellent technical ability.’

‘I worked with Debevoise for the first time on an internal compliance investigation in a very challenging jurisdiction. The competence level, the effective and smooth operation, the non-negotiable client-focus and the sheer quality of the team was very impressive. It was a difficult and complex investigation, but the Debevoise team did a fantastic job. The report at the end of a year-long investigation was not only excellent in terms of its technical qualities, but also had a remarkable story-telling element to it that brought a refreshing simplicity to the whole matter and made the key messages clear and easy to understand and digest for the organisation.’

Key clients

Rolls-Royce plc

Shell

Work highlights

  • Advised Rolls-Royce plc during negotiations of its Leniency Agreement with Brazil’s Office of the Comptroller General (“CGU”), which was approved on October 26, 2021. The Leniency Agreement relates to historic bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in Brazil.
  • Acting as global coordinating counsel to Shell on the various bribery investigations and court proceedings relating to the award of the OPL 245 offshore oil block in Nigeria in 2011.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 2

Housing a ‘good mix of legal minds‘, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s international arbitration department conducts all its own arbitration and arbitration-related High Court advocacy. Operating at the top end of the international arbitration market, former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith KC is consistently mandated to handle the most complex commercial and investment disputes; ‘outstanding lawyer‘ and Africa practice group head Patrick Taylor, who divides his time between London and Paris, represents both corporate and sovereign clients in international arbitration disputes throughout the world; London and Hong Kong-based Tony Dymond co-chairs the Asia arbitration practice; and commercial and investor-state arbitration and public international law specialist Samantha Rowe, also works across the London and Paris offices. At international counsel level, Gavin Chesney, Robert HooseAimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake, all maintain active international arbitration practices, while Laith Najjar, Shreya ArenMaxim Osadchiy and Merryl Lawry-White are experienced associates.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith KC

Testimonials

‘The Debevoise team has shown remarkable reactivity skills when needed – very pragmatic and solution-oriented advice and analyses.

‘Demonstrated the capacity to mobilise a wide network of experts – great client-oriented relationship, very easy to work with, and the firm creates a teamwork atmosphere between the client and lawyers.’

‘Good mix of legal minds, understanding of construction issues, co-ordination with experts on issues, presentation during hearings, and use of technology in document production.’

‘Excellent lawyers.’

‘Patrick Taylor is very impressive. He is very focused and sharp, and highly knowledgeable of the facts of a case – assets that any client would want to see in a lawyer.’

‘Patrick Taylor is an outstanding lawyer with a very clear mind and strategic skills in all kinds of situations.’

‘Tony Dymond is great for providing different perspectives of a case.

‘International counsel Robert Hoose – solid detailing of the issues and excellent at conducting witness interviews.’

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company Pty

CH2M Hill

Eutelsat

Bechtel Group

The Nova Group Investments

Shell Petroleum NV

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Qatar Airways

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tethyan Copper Company Pty in proceedings that involve an arbitration claim under sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Representing The Nova Group Investments in an ICSID claim against the Romanian Government, which concerns the purported expropriation of its Romanian assets and breaches of BIT protections.
  • Representing SPNV and SPDC (as claimants) against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in an ICSID case, which concerns breaches of BIT protections.

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'a strong practice with industry and geographical knowledge, attention to detail, and commercial awareness'. The London office works closely with teams in New York, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and other global centres to handle transactions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, India, Russia and the CIS, and Latin America. It focuses predominantly on investments, M&A, projects, disputes and joint ventures. Geoffrey Burgess, who maintains a highly international M&A practice, with a focus on Africa, India and Russia/CIS, leads the practice alongside capital markets partner James Scoville, chair of European and Asian litigation Lord Peter Goldsmith KC and co-chair of the Africa practice Patrick Taylor. International counsel Vera Losonci, who focuses on equity and debt offerings, is also a key adviser on emerging markets issues, notably in Russia and the CIS. Burgess is described by one client as  'a strong advocate who brings a commercial reasonableness to the table to get deals done'.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Burgess; James Scoville; Lord Peter Goldsmith KC; Patrick Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Strong international presence that assists with complex transactions in emerging markets, such as in Africa.’

‘Geoff Burgess is a strong advocate who has worked extensively in emerging markets, including in Africa, and brings a commercial reasonableness to the table to get deals done.’

‘A strong practice with industry and geographical knowledge, attention to detail, and commercial awareness, especially Patrick Taylor and Geoff Burgess.’

‘I have worked with Patrick Taylor and he is technically capable, knowledgeable and proactive.’

‘Many law firms who practice in emerging markets seek to engage on the ground from a position of superiority. Debevoise on the contrary engaged with my firm as equal partners when we worked together on some arbitration matters. I found their team to be engage in actively seeking the input of local counsel, in order to present the best position to the joint client.

Key clients

Helios Investment Partners

Leapfrog Investments

Ozon Holdings

SPB Exchange

Prudential Financial

Evercare Group

Tethyan Copper Company

Center for Reproductive Rights

Shell Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Advised funds advised by Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”), the leading Africa-focused private investment firm, in the completion of the sale of its 49% stake in GBfoods Africa (“GBFA”) to its partner and co-shareholder, The GBfoods SA (“GBfoods”).
  • Advised Leapfrog Investments (“LeapFrog”) in its investment in MedGenome, a leading genetic diagnostic testing and genomics research company with operations in the US, India, Canada and Singapore.
  • Advised Ozon Holdings PLC (“Ozon”) in the issuance of its US$750,000,000 1.875% senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2026. The bonds are convertible into American depositary shares (“ADSs”) representing Ozon’s ordinary shares.

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP handles complex, cross-border M&A transactions as well as provding advice on the full gamut of regulatory issues for insurance sector clients. The firm is also recommended for its work in reinsurance as well as capital markets and financing. Practice head Clare Swirski focuses on insurance-based M&A, share and business sales, reinsurance and the effects Solvency II. Co-head James C Scoville deals with transactions involving insurance companies. Benjamin Lyon, a dual English and New Zealand-qualified international counsel, advises on M&A in the Lloyd’s market.

Practice head(s):

Clare Swirski; James Scoville

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team’s particular strength is an extremely strong technical understanding of the insurance market allied with a highly tuned commercial perspective and wider contacts base.’

‘Clare Swirski is extremely easy to work with, technically strong but also very commercial with a great depth and breadth of experience. It is no surprise to me that she is highly in demand for all of the blue chip M&A transactions.’

‘Benjamin Lyon is particularly strong commercially with an excellent network and appreciation of the key commercial drivers of a transaction.’

‘Deep insurance industry knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

AIA Group Limited

American International Group

AmTrust Financial

Ascot Group

Asta Capital Limited

AXA SA

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Canopius Group

Compre Group

Covéa

CPPIB

Elliott

MTech Capital

Prudential Financial Inc.

Resolution Life

Stone Point Capital

Work highlights

  • Provided international transactional and regulatory advice to the Covéa group in its proposed US$9 billion acquisition of PartnerRe (following acting in the same capacity in the same transaction terminated in 2020).
  • Advised the shareholders on all aspects of the sale of Asta through a competitive auction process. Asta is the leading turnkey Managing Agent in the Lloyd’s market, with significant market presence.
  • Advised the Canopius group on a US$780 million loss portfolio transfer agreement with RiverStone International (“LPT”), the largest Lloyd’s LPT in 2021.

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s exceptionally strong’ private funds team provides ‘commercial and astute’ advice to both established and first-time fund managers. The team has broad expertise in this space, and is noted for its work on credit and secondaries funds as well as those focused on private equity, infrastructure and real estate. The practice particularly stands out for its work in emerging markets, where it acts for a number of managers in establishing Africa-focused funds. Practice head Geoffrey Kittredge is praised as ‘a dean of the private funds industry’ and has broad expertise across fund structures and asset classes. Matthew Dickman also has a varied practice, with a particular focus in technology and VC where he draws on his experience practicing in San Francisco. ‘Highly versatile’ partner John Rife is recognised for his experience handling both primary fundraisings and secondary transactions.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Kittredge

Other key lawyers:

John Rife; Matthew Dickman; John Anderson

Testimonials

‘Highly experienced and capable team. Very commercial and astute with their advice.’

‘John Rife is highly versatile and capable across primary and secondary PE markets.’

‘Market leading, unequaled credentials and authority.’

‘Geoff Kittredge – a dean of the private funds industry while entirely composed and unflappable. Resolute in representing client interests while effective in concluding transactions.’

‘Exceptionally strong private funds formation team, being able to leverage Debevoise’s New York and Hong Kong teams as well as specialist teams in secondaries, fund finance and regulatory is what sets Debevoise apart from its peers.’

‘Debevoise has also made great strides in improving the transparency and inputs into its billing system, making the process much more user friendly.’

‘Geoff Kittredge is clearly one of the dominant figures on European fundraisings. He has a knowledge of the funds market that can only be acquired through years of experience at the top of his field, focuses on what’s important to us as a sponsor and guides negotiations through difficult spots.’

‘John Rife has been focused on secondaries transactions for a number of years, meaning he has excellent experience and market knowledge in the space.’

Key clients

AlbaCore Capital Partners

Apera Fund II

DBAY Advisors Limited

Development Partners International LLP

DN Capital (UK) LLP

Exponent Private Equity LLP

Fifth Wall

FitzWalter Capital Limited

Glendower Capital

Intermediate Capital Group plc

LCM Capital LLP

LeapFrog Investments

LGT Capital Partners AG

Mediterrania Capital Partners Limited

Park Square Capital

Tishman Speyer

Wafra Inc.

Work highlights

  • Engaged by LGT Capital Partners AG in the fifth iteration of its flagship secondaries fund; Crown Global Secondaries V.
  • Advised Fifth Wall Asset Management in 2021 in connection with raising its flagship Climate Technology Fund, which focuses on early and late stage venture capital investments in real estate-related climate change mitigation technologies.
  • Advising Tishman Speyer in connection with the fundraising of Tishman Speyer European Real Estate Venture IX (the Fund), a European-focused value-add real estate fund.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 3

The highly regarded practitioners at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'specialise in providing a Rolls Royce service' to blue-chip corporates and ultra-high-net-worth-individuals from around the world. Contractual claims, M&A litigation, and issues arising out of joint venture arrangements are areas in which the group particularly excels. In November 2021, the firm was joined by 'possibly one of the most seasoned litigation solicitors on the market today', Patrick Swain, who left Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP after more than 20 years. His arrival bolsters the firm's already significant expertise in handling shareholder disputes. Lord (Peter) Goldsmith KC leads the team, which also includes 'brilliant commercial litigator' Christopher Boyne.

Practice head(s):

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith KC

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Boyne; Gavin Chesney; Luke Duggan; Patrick Swain

Testimonials

‘The only word I can use to describe Patrick Swain is exceptional.’

‘Patrick Swain is possibly one of the most seasoned litigation solicitors on the market today. He has the flair to run very complex cases with ease, and to manage the expectations of everyone involved and deliver what’s truly best for the client with exceptional efficiency.’

‘What makes the Debevoise team unique? Lord Goldsmith’s reputation, and the firm’s reputation generally, together with their place in the market, mean they are particularly well-suited to handling very complex, high-value and high-profile disputes of all kinds for clients ranging from ultra high net worth individuals, to multinationals, state entities, and various sovereign states.

‘The commercial litigation team are exceptionally responsive and service-driven. They specialise in providing a “Rolls Royce” service. Christopher Boyne in particular is a trusted commercial advisor to a number of high profile in-house counsel. He and his team are dedicated to providing clients with prompt, accurate and well-thought through strategic advice in real time.’

‘Christopher Boyne is a brilliant commercial litigator who punches well above his weight in terms of seniority.  I have seen him go up against impressive large teams and win. As well as being super bright and very sensible in his judgement, he is an exceptional team leader who commands loyalty from his juniors and respect from both senior partners and opponents.’

‘Patrick Swain’s team was brilliant in its strategic perspective and positioning in a very important and protracted dispute. The team delivered fantastic results against the odds and was steadfast in its positioning of the case, which ultimately proved to be a critical lever in a commercial settlement.’

‘A go-to practice for the biggest, most complex cases, particularly with an international element.’

Key clients

Petro Poroshenko

Sberbank of Russia

Victor Pisante & associated investment companies

The Hinduja family

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited

Shell

Neoma Private Equity Fund IV L.P.

Tatneft

Tethyan Copper Company Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Petro Poroshenko, the former President of Ukraine, in his victory in the High Court of England  and Wales, successfully challenging the jurisdiction of the English courts to hear a $250m conspiracy claim brought against him and the former head of the National Bank of Ukraine, relating to the nationalisation and bail-in of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest bank.
  • Represented Victor Pisante and various related corporate entities in successful Commercial Court proceedings to recover substantial damages from George Logothetis (and his associated companies) in connection with claims for fraudulent misrepresentation arising out of a joint venture agreement.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP fields a ‘high calibre‘ team with significant private equity experience. Co-managing partner Richard Ward works on high value private equity transactions, to which he brings ‘broad perspectives and insight‘. Ward jointly leads the department with Matthew Saronson, whose focus is on advising sponsors and investors on US and international tax. Cecile Beurrier has expertise in the structuring and formation of private equity and debt funds. ‘Excellent’ international counsel Jennifer Wheater is also a key name.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ward; Matthew Saronson

Other key lawyers:

Cécile Beurrier; Jennifer Wheater; Matthew Pincus

Testimonials

‘Very senior, experienced, high calibre group with clout.’

‘Richard Ward: Very wise and sensible, as well as obviously technically skilled. Broad perspectives and insight.’

‘In depth knowledge of challenging tax technical concepts, responsiveness, connectivity with advisors all over the world.’

‘Jennifer Wheater is one of the best tax advisers I have come across. Her responses to tax matters that arise are always comprehensive and a result of thorough investigation. Also, her personal skills are outstanding. Cécile Beurrier is very helpful in negotiations with the counterparties and able to provide solutions to any problems we may face. Her in-depth knowledge and expertise in tax law enables her to offer strategic and practical advice of great value.’

‘Succint. Straight to the point. Creative. Precise. Think out of the box.’

‘This is a very high quality team that focuses on top end clients. They are selective about what work they choose to do and do not try and be all things to all.’

‘Debevoise’s tax team belongs to the “creme de la creme” when it comes to funds/secondaries.’

‘They know the industry they work for extremely well. They have a very balanced approach, are well organised, always available and solutions driven.’

Key clients

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Leapfrog Investments

Glendower Capital

Allianz Capital Partners

Fitzwalter Capital

Ultranav Limitada

Joh A Beckinser

HarbourVest Partners

Smartly.io

Work highlights

  • Advised CD&R on tax aspects of the bid, structure and financing arrangements regarding its investment into Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.
  • Advised Leapfrog on the tax aspects of a strategic partnership arrangement with Singapore state investment company Temasek.
  • Advised Glendower on the tax aspects of their acquisition by CVC Capital Partners.

Finance > Acquisition finance Tier 4

Drawing on 'exceptional market knowledge and technical and commercial acumen', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's team expertly protects the interests of its borrower-focused client base on the financing of its M&A activity. Alan Davies  has a strong reputation and recently advised core sponsor client, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, on the financing to facilitate its high-profile take private of UK supermarket chain, Morrisons. The 'user-friendly and solutions-focused' Pierre Maugüé  has 'deep knowledge across a range of financing techniques' - including asset backed, fund finance and US-law governed products - ensuring that he is a popular choice on both conventional and more esoteric leveraged financings.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Testimonials

Exceptional market knowledge and technical and commercial acumen.’

The firm has a first-class acquisition financing team which goes out of its way to help clients achieve their objectives efficiently whilst protecting their interests.’

‘Thomas Smith and Pierre Maugüé are exceptional – really on top of their game, able to push for innovative structuring and obtain exceptional terms for clients in negotiations’

‘ Pierre Maugüé is thoughtful and has deep knowledge across a range of financing techniques. He is extremely experienced and commercial, very sharp, user-friendly and solutions-focused.’

Key clients

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Warner Music Group

EQT Partners

Baring Private Equity Asia

Motor Fuel Group

International Paper Company

Mobilux Finance and Mobilux Acquisition

Charles Taylor Limited / Lovell Minnick Partners LLC

Bridgepoint Credit

17Capital

Glendower Capital

EQT Exeter

Park Square Capital Partners

Coller Capital

Deutsche Bank AG

Barnes & Noble Inc.

Smartly.io Solutions

Resolution Life

Global Atlantic Financial Group

Brookfield Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Acted as sponsor counsel to CD&R on the take private of Morrisons, the supermarket chain in the UK.
  • Advised Warner Music Group Acquisition Corp. on the refinancing of its Term Loan Credit Agreement, amending its Revolving Credit Agreement, and the issuance of senior secured notes.
  • Advised EQT in a €260m subscription line facility with a syndicate of four banks. The facility will eventually incorporate innovative ESG mechanics.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 4

The contentious team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP act on a full range of projects, including infrastructure, energy, mining, power, and renewables. The practice is highly regarded for its expertise in international arbitration matters in relation to infrastructure disputes, acting for owners, contractors and lenders. Tony Dymond, who specialises in complex, multi-jurisdictional construction and engineering disputes, leads the team alongside Lord Peter Goldsmith KC. Robert Hoose is experienced in litigation and arbitration in the engineering sector, whilst Raeesa Rawal specialises in construction arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith; Tony Dymond

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Debevoise & Plimpton are rightly known for operating on mega-projects with incredibly complex and difficult issues across many jurisdictions, and manage such interactions through the dedication, intelligence and experience of its key team members.’

‘Tony Dymond is one of the smartest construction lawyers I’ve been able to work with. His knowledge, attention to detail, rigour and, above all, intelligence sets him apart.’

‘They are dedicated and focused on providing clients with world-class service and advice. The team are a pleasure to work alongside as co-counsel: always insightful, courteous and very knowledgeable.’

‘Tony Dymond is a rock star – he is knowledgeable, tough and a pleasure to work alongside. He is always available to provide sound commercial and legal advice.’

‘Rob Hoose is very industrious and demonstrates the capabilities of a future leader in international construction disputes.’

‘Mark Friedman is a polished performer. Insightful and articulate.’

‘The lawyers at Debevoise are outstanding in their analytical skills, ability to understand complex issues, advocacy skills, and instincts regarding settlement opportunities. Their varied experience in construction and long-term contracts is unparalleled.’

‘The depth and breadth of their team is very strong, both in areas of experience and in their legal skills.’

Work highlights

    Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 5

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is recognised for its work on secondary market transactions, with Katherine Ashton leading on this work and ‘stand-out lawyer’ Andrew Rearick also active in this space. PE investments in Africa are another area of focus for the team and are a particular specialism of Geoffrey Burgess. David Innes leads the London-based team, which collaborates closely with offices in the US.

    Practice head(s):

    David Innes

    Testimonials

    ‘Andrew Rearick is a stand out lawyer in Debevoise’s private equity practice.’

    Key clients

    Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

    Evercare Group

    Pantheon

    Glendower Capital

    Prudential Financial

    Smartly.io Solutions Oy

    Temasek

    Hollyport Capital

    HarbourVest Partners

    Work highlights

    • Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund X in the sale of its investment in Belron, a worldwide leader in vehicle glass repair and replacement, in a transaction valuing Belron at €21 billion.
    • Advising Pantheon in its equity investment as part of the proposed £2 billion takeover by KKR of John Laing Group plc.
    • Advising Glendower Capitalin its agreement to establish a strategic partnership with CVC, the leading private equity and credit investment advisory firm.

    Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s competition team advises clients on large multi-jurisdictional merger control issues and behavioural matters. ‘Able to deliver very detailed and complex analyses in short timeframes’, the team is highly regarded by its clients. The practice head is Timothy McIver, a ‘technically astute’ competition lawyer of more than 20 years’ experience. Anne-Mette Heemsoth regularly advises on foreign investment risk and has a background in acting on merger control investigations before the European Commission.

    Practice head(s):

    Timothy McIver

    Other key lawyers:

    Anne-Mette Heemsoth; Megan MacDonald

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is one of the strongest in the EU and UK markets. They are well connected at the agencies and provide wise, practical, client-ready advice.’

    ‘Tim McIver is a pleasure to deal with – he is very knowledgeable and strategic. He is able to distill the main issues in highly complex transactions and other situations.’

    ‘Excellent client service. Subject matter experts. Collaborative, easy to work with. Commercial/practical. Solution oriented.’

    ‘Timothy McIver and Megan MacDonald have been very supportive. Advice has been clear, succinct, commercially astute and pragmatic.’

    ‘A team that is able to deliver very detailed and complex analyses in short timeframes. What has distinguished them from other firms is their responsiveness, their preciseness and their incredible legal skills, as well as their ability to be pragmatic and business-oriented.’

    ‘Incredible legal skills and precision, coupled with an ability to be pragmatic and business-oriented in their approach.’

    ‘Technically strong, but solutions-focused in their advice, drafting and issues management.’

    ‘Tim McIver is technically astute, while suggesting practical solutions to issues.’

    Key clients

    CDPQ

    Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

    Covanta

    DAZN Group

    Domtar Corporation

    Dover Corporation

    GoDaddy Inc.

    Providence Equity

    Rank Group Limited

    Schneider Electric

    Solenis

    Syniverse

    Work highlights

    • Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its $6 billion acquisition and subsequent combination of Fort Dearborn and Multi-Color Corporation, to create the world’s largest label solutions company.
    • Advised Solenis on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its sale to Platinum Equity at an implied enterprise value of $5.25 billion.
    • Advised Syniverse on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its proposed $2.85 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company M3-Brigade Acquisition II Corp. and its partnership with Twilio.

    India > Foreign firms Tier 4

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP lawyers based in the USA, London, Hong Kong and further afield provide a comprehensive range of expertise, often with an India element. It acts for international banks, private equity firms and other investors and for Indian corporates in their investments and capital raisings. Geoffrey Burgess in London and William Chua in Hong Kong co-head the India practice while the ‘outstanding disputes lawyerLord Peter Goldsmith QC is the co-managing partner of the London office and chairs the European and Asian litigation practice. The ‘exceptionalGavin Anderson is a member of the funds practice; his work of late has included advising on the formation of an India venture fund and an infrastructure fund, and US-qualified Geoffrey Kitteridge, who is based in London, is ‘renowned‘ for his private equity and investment funds practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Geoffrey P. Burgess; Lord Goldsmith QC; William Y. Chua

    Other key lawyers:

    Geoffrey Kitteridge; Gavin Andersen

    Testimonials

    ‘A unique feature that assures the client the availability of the best brain for a particular issue is the firm’s lockstep arrangement. As a white shoe firm, Debevoise & Plimpton is indeed a one-stop-shop. Having associated with Debevoise & Plimpton for over 15 years, I can vouch for their agility in dealing with the concerns of the client. Debevoise & Plimpton has presence in various geographies and also has excellent collaborative relationship with firms in jurisdictions where they have no presence. Whether it be PE, M&A, fintech, disputes, pharma, white-collar crimes, compliance, FCPA etc. Debevoise & Plimpton has a leadership position both in terms of expertise and as a solution provider. Debevoise & Plimpton’s legal service delivery is value for money. The Debevoise Protocol on Arbitration is a shining example of how clients can make arbitration cost-effective.’

    ‘Lord Peter Goldsmith is an outstanding disputes lawyer and he is not only a QC but also a senior partner. Geoff Kitteridge is an renowned funds lawyer and his reputation precedes him. Geoff Burgess is a brilliant M&A lawyer whose motto is ‘let us get the deal done’.’

    ‘They have a very strong grasp of the fundamentals of the business, which allows them to innovate and be flexible. Their client servicing is impeccable.’

    ‘Gavin Andersen is an exceptional lawyer, with an excellent problem solving attitude and a a calm demeanour.’

    Key clients

    AIA Group

    Capital Group

    HarbourVest Partners

    Leapfrog Investments

    Lightspeed India Partners

    Morgan Stanley

    PJSC Uralkali

    Rolls-Royce plc

    The Hinduja Family

    Work highlights

    • Advising Lightspeed in the formation of Lightspeed India Partners III, a US$275 million India venture fund.
    • Advising AIA Group (“AIA”) in its long-term strategic partnership with Practo Pte. Ltd. (“Practo”). Through the strategic partnership, AIA’s joint venture in India, Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited, will gain preferred access to Practo’s platform and become Practo’s exclusive provider of life insurance solutions and related wellness propositions in India.
    • Advising the Hinduja family, a high-profile, ultra-high-net-worth Indian family, in a claim principally concerning the status, meaning and effect of two documents and their effect on the family’s significant business assets. The assets in question are worth US $ billions.

    Latin America: International firms > International arbitration

    The ‘hard-working, high-quality attorneys’ in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s international dispute resolution practice handle all major sets of arbitration rules, providing multinational corporations, sovereigns, international organisations and individuals with support in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration matters. The practice has a strong presence in Latin America, securing significant awards for clients across a broad range of industries, including energy and natural resources, mining, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. The Latin American practice is led by the New York-based trio of Dietmar Prager , who displays ‘exceptional intelligence’; Mark W. Friedman  has some 20 years’ experience and is a former Vice President of the ICC Court of Arbitration; and Catherine Amirfar. In addition, the group has recourse to the extensive experience of veteran arbitration practitioner David W. Rivkin  , who divides his time between New York and London. Furthermore, the deep bench also houses an array of younger talent, including energy, mining and telecommunications expert Ina Popova  and London-based energy specialist Samantha Rowe. In addition Laura Sinisterra, who clients note is ‘very good at dealing with experts and witnesses’, was raised to the partnership in 2022; and young triple-qualified (Brazil, New York, England & Wales) associate Guilherme Recena Costa is undoubtedly an up-and-comer of note. Donald Francis Donovan retired from his of counsel position in August 2022 after over 35 years at the firm, subsequently taking up a role as an independent arbitrator at Arbitration Chambers.

    Practice head(s):

    Dietmar Prager; Mark W. Friedman; Catherine Amirfar

    Testimonials

    ‘The Debevoise’s team is unlike any other team of attorneys. The quality and professionalism of their attorneys is second to none. It is also a very diverse team.’

    ‘Within the Debevoise team, Mark W. Friedman, Ina Popova and Guilherme Recena Costa stand out. They are fantastic. Each one brings their own power or ability, and when they all act together they really are unbeatable. This is an essential feature in litigation.’

    ‘Dietmar Prager is very good at managing the team. Laura Sinisterra is very good at dealing with experts and witnesses.’

    ‘The team is filled with hard-working, high-quality attorneys who are very responsive.’

    ‘Dietmar Prager has exceptional intelligence and at every meeting is always prepared with the details of the facts, laws, and procedures for the matter he is handling for us. He answers all communications very promptly.’

    Key clients

    Tethyan Copper Company

    Perenco Ecuador

    Gramercy Funds Management

    Freeport-McMoRan

    SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands

    YPF

    Work highlights

    • Representing Freeport-McMoRan and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in an ICSID arbitration brought against Peru under the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
    • Acting for SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands in an ICSID arbitration brought against Peru under the Netherlands-Peru bilateral investment treaty.
    • Secured a victory for Antofagasta/Barrick Gold joint venture Tethyan Copper  against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; with an aggregate total of $5.9bn, it is the second-largest ICSID-award ever rendered.

    Germany > Banking and finance > Investment funds

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's fund practice is in close contact with its colleagues in Luxembourg, Hong Kong, London, New York and Washington DC, resulting in an integrated approach that also mirrors practice head Patricia Volhard's activity: Volhard acts from the firm's London and Luxembourg offices as well as from Frankfurt, where she focuses on German and Luxembourg fund structures as well as on the whole array of regulatory and ESG issues. With a focus on the private equity, private debt and infrastructure spheres, the group primarily advises fund managers, but also investors.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘The combination of Debevoise’s extremely strong practice in Frankfurt and access to a broader network of private equity fund lawyers in London, Hong Kong and New York makes Debevoise unique. Debevoise is able to deliver commercially oriented advice based on the experience of working for so many other clients.

    ‘Patricia Volhard is one of the pre-eminent private investment fund lawyers in Germany (if not Europe). Patricia knows how to apply the law, contemplate tricky situations and offers commercial, pragmatic advice.’

    ‘Jin-Hyuk Jang is very user-friendly and always available.

    ‘Patricia’s practice is one of the few in the private equity market that can address global regulatory issues with a partner-led, solution-oriented approach .’

    ‘Patricia Volhard and Jin Hyuk-Jang are the key contacts for regulatory advice for private investment funds. They are pragmatic and smart and serve on all industry bodies, keeping them up to date in the private equity sector.

    ‘As a large international law firm, Debevoise naturally has a great network, but the relationship with the local contact person always feels personal and like in a boutique. That’s very pleasant and not always the case with large law firms.’

    ‘Patricia Volhard and her team have been among the top teams in financial regulatory issues in Germany and Europe for many years. In my opinion, the combination of technical expertise, the relationships and the sovereign handling of stakeholders (supervision, etc.) and the extremely pleasant, unpretentious human contact are unique.’

    Key clients

    Adams Street Partners

    Apera Capital

    The Carlyle Group

    Coller Capital

    Deutsche Beteiligungs AG

    Finance in Motion

    Hannover Finanz

    Morgan Stanley

    Novum Capital

    Neuberger Berman

    SVB Capital

    SwanCap Partners

    Work highlights

    • Advising Novum Capital Partners on the launch of Novum Fund II, a €150m German private equity fund.
    • Advising Navis Capital Partners on the launch of a Luxembourg PE fund.

    Since opening in 1989, the London office – the firm’s second-largest – has developed remarkable talent and experience in Debevoise’s core practice areas, including private equity, insurance, international disputes and investigations, financial institutions, M&A, finance, capital markets and tax. Market wise and expert in English and European law, the London office is an integral part of a closely coordinated global practice that includes colleagues in Europe, the US and Asia.

    In the corporate and transactional arena, where English and New York law have come to occupy leading positions in much of the world, the London office boasts deep experience in both. Some 30% of Debevoise’s London lawyers hold US qualifications, and more than 75% are English law-qualified. Further, 10% of the firm’s London lawyers are dual-qualified in both England and the US.

    The office’s leading disputes resolution practice similarly spans legal regimes, as well as international borders, languages, industries and court systems. The practice’s advocacy-led approach makes it distinct in the market, with capabilities ranging from international commercial arbitration, domestic and international commercial litigation and public international law, to white-collar crime and investigations. The practice is chaired by former UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith KC, who has been described by the major legal directories as “one of the great doyens of the English bar.”

    Debevoise’s London transactional group has advised on some of the largest public listings, globally significant M&A transactions, and innovative acquisition financings and strategies for corporate clients, and has a market-leading fund formation practice supporting its expanding fund sponsor client base.

    In close collaboration with the firm’s other offices, London office lawyers build and coordinate specialized teams to advise on local and international matters in the UK and throughout Europe, as well as across emerging market territories, including India, the Middle East, Africa, Russia/CIS and Latin America.

    DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
    M&A / Private Equity / Capital Markets Katherine Ashtonkashton@debevoise.com
    M&A / Private Equity Raman Bet-Mansourrbetmansour@debevoise.com
    Tax Cecile Beurriercbeurrier@debevoise.com
    Litigation Christopher Boynecboyne@debevoise.com
    M&A / Private Equity Geoffrey P Burgessgpburgess@debevoise.com
    Finance Alan J Daviesajdavies@debevoise.com
    Funds/investment management Matthew Dickmanmdickman@debevoise.com
    International dispute resolution Tony Dymondtdymond@debevoise.com
    International dispute resolution Lord Goldsmith KCphgoldsmith@debevoise.com
    M&A / Private equity David Innesdinnes@debevoise.com
    Funds/investment mangagement Geoffrey Kittredgegkittredge@debevoise.com
    Finance Pierre Maugüépmaugue@debevoise.com
    Competition Timothy McIvertmciver@debevoise.com
    Funds/investment management John Rifejrife@debevoise.com
    International dispute resolution Samantha J. Rowesjrowe@debevoise.com
    Tax Matthew Saronsonmdsaronson@debevoise.com
    Financial institutions and insurance / Capital markets James C Scovillejcscoville@debevoise.com
    White collar & regulatory defense Karolos Seegerkseeger@debevoise.com
    White collar & regulatory defense Jane Shvetsjshvets@debevoise.com
    Finance Thomas Smithtsmith@debevoise.com
    Financial institutions and insurance / Capital markets Clare Swirskicswirski@debevoise.com
    International dispute resolution Patrick Taylorptaylor@debevoise.com
    Funds/investment management Patricia Volhardpvolhard@debevoise.com
    Tax Richard Wardrward@debevoise.com
    PhotoNamePositionProfile
    Katherine Ashton photo Katherine AshtonDual-qualified in England and the U.S., Kate Ashton is a corporate partner…
    E Raman Bet-Mansour photo E Raman Bet-Mansour​E. Raman Bet-Mansour is a corporate partner in the firm’s London and…
    Cecile Beurrier photo Cecile BeurrierCécile Beurrier is a partner in the firm’s Tax Department whose practice focuses…
    Christopher Boyne photo Christopher BoyneChristopher Boyne is a partner based in the London office, where he…
    Geoffrey Burgess photo Geoffrey BurgessGeoffrey Burgess is a corporate partner with a broad international practice in…
    Alan Davies photo Alan DaviesAlan Davies, a corporate partner in the firm’s European Finance Group, focuses…
    Matthew Dickman photo Matthew DickmanMatt Dickman, a London-based partner and member of the firm’s Funds/Investment Management…
    Tony Dymond photo Tony DymondTony Dymond is a partner in the firm’s London and Hong Kong…
    Peter Goldsmith photoLord Peter GoldsmithLord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, is London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of…
    David Innes photoMr David InnesDavid Innes is a corporate partner in the firm’s London office and…
    Geoffrey Kittredge photo Geoffrey KittredgeGeoffrey Kittredge, a London-based partner and Chair of Debevoise’s European Funds/Investment Management…
    Benjamin Lyon photoMr Benjamin LyonMr. Lyon focuses on corporate transactions in the insurance and asset management…
    Pierre Maugüé photo Pierre MaugüéPierre Maugüé focuses his practice on acquisition and leveraged buyout financings and…
    Timothy McIver photo Timothy McIverTimothy McIver is a partner in the London office. His practice focuses on…
    John Rife photo John RifeJohn Rife is an English-qualified partner in the Corporate Department and a…
    Samantha Rowe photo Samantha RoweSamantha J. Rowe is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution and…
    Matthew Saronson photo Matthew SaronsonMatt Saronson  focuses on advising sponsors and investors on the U.S. and…
    James Scoville photo James ScovilleJames Scoville is a corporate partner whose practice focuses on securities matters…
    Karolos Seeger photo Karolos SeegerKarolos Seeger is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory…
    Jane Shvets photo Jane ShvetsJane Shvets is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory…
    Thomas Smith photo Thomas SmithThomas Smith is an English-qualified partner in the Finance Group of the…
    Clare Swirski photo Clare SwirskiMs. Swirski has over 20 years’ experience advising financial institutions on the…
    Patrick Taylor photoMr Patrick TaylorMr. Taylor’s practice focuses on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with particular…
    Patricia Volhard photo Patricia VolhardPatricia Volhard is a partner in Debevoise’s Frankfurt and London offices and…
    Richard Ward photo Richard WardRichard Ward is Co-Managing Partner for the firm in London, and Chair…
    Number of UK partners : 23
    Number of other UK fee-earners : Approximately 125

    Our clients come to us for the finest legal advice and service. We provide that service by bringing to our firm the best and most diverse talent and working to build and sustain an inclusive community ‒ one in which our diverse group of lawyers can grow, thrive and work as a single team, weaving together the power of the many different perspectives and experiences they bring.

    We have embedded diversity and inclusion within all elements of the firm’s broader talent development work. Key initiatives include:

    • A Management Committee Sponsorship program

    In 2016, we launched our Management Committee Sponsorship Program to foster the advancement and promotion of diverse talent. Members of the firm’s Management Committee and departmental leaders are paired with top-performing mid- and senior-level diverse associates to promote and sup-port their careers through opportunity generation, profile raising and internal leadership.

    • Addressing Implicit Bias

    We have instituted implicit bias training in all aspects of our talent cycle – recruiting, advising, staffing, evaluation – and for all levels of lawyers.

    • Practice Group Leadership

    We have put structures in place to ensure that all practice group leaders are responsible to firm management for successful implementation of D&I goals.

    • A Real-Time Informal Feedback program

    To enhance career development for our lawyers, the firm has implemented our Real-Time Informal Feedback Program. Lawyers are taught a number of simple yet effective feedback techniques, and meet regularly to discuss their experiences in giving more frequent feedback.

    • Centralized Staffing

    We apply a centralized approach to staffing our junior lawyers, with the objective of ensuring an equitable distribution of responsibilities and opportunities for our junior lawyers.

    Debevoise is also home to the Debevoise Women’s Review, a first-of-its-kind platform among law firms, developed to inspire the legal and business communities to engage in discussion and collective action around gender diversity. Unlike a traditional marketing platform, the content is developed and the editorial process managed almost entirely by lawyers at the firm, most of whom are associates, allowing for an authentic, first-person perspective. We invite you to join the conversation at women.debevoise.com.